Icy weather postponed the start of spring practice for Charlotte baseball, but the 49ers hit the field at Robert and Mariam Hayes Stadium Saturday to begin the team phase of preseason practice. After a wintry mix pushed back Charlotte's start to practice Friday, the players and coaches saw sunshine and mid-40's temperatures on Saturday afternoon. The team had been in the individual skill development and strength and conditioning phase since classes resumed in early January.
"Our individual sessions have been going well, but there is
no substitute for getting everyone together and practicing as a team," said Charlotte head coach Loren Hibbs.
"These first few weeks, we are going to spend a lot of time reviewing, teaching
and building the base that is essential to our development as a team."
Left-handed senior John Hamilton (Strongsville, Ohio) and junior right-hander Tyler Barnette (Hickory, N.C.) started the scrimmage in the first day of the team phase of practice. Hamilton, the closer of the team for the last two seasons, is moving into the starting rotation this season.
"Our effort level was good today and we utilized all four of our NCAA allowed hours," added Hibbs. "We will see how everyone responds tomorrow."
A host of pitchers, headlined by senior Wes Hatley (Norwood, N.C. / South Stanly HS) and redshirt junior Corey Roberts (Charlotte, N.C. / Olympic HS), are scheduled to pitch on Sunday afternoon. Day two of practice, which is free and open to the public, begins at 12:30 p.m.
Lower level seats are going fast for the 2013 season, which includes tickets to the 2013 Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament, the first baseball tournament hosted on campus since Charlotte's last year of Metro Conference membership in 1995. Ticket plans in the lower level, which include 36 home contests and the tournament are $75 and can be purchased by calling the Charlotte 49ers Ticket Office at (704) 687-4949. The season begins at home against Delaware State for a four-game series beginning February 15 at 4 p.m.